For a while there, it was looking as if the RCMP and Integrated Homicide Investigation Team had everything in hand.
In 2009, the first three months of the year were marked with so many violent incidents they began to blur together.
Murders rocked nearly every community in the Lower Mainland, from Vancouver to Abbotsford. Gangsters, from the UN gang, the Red Scorpions, the Independent Soliders, all seemed determined to wipe their rivals off the face of the planet. The impact was felt right here, too, with shootings in the Burnaby and Coquitlam areas.
But by the middle of the year, the violence had slowed, and by 2010, things had definitely calmed down.
The B.C. murder rate dropped by 31 per cent in a single year, and the overall Canadian murder rate hit its lowest level in almost half a century.
In some cases, suspects were found and tried, or are awaiting trials now; in other cases, the suspects are on the run. Overall, it looked like the good guys were on a winning streak.
Then this week, gunfire erupted on a Kelowna street. Jonathan Bacon, one of the three notorious Bacon brothers of Abbotsford, had been gunned down by masked men wielding assault rifles. Wounded was a member of the Hells Angels White Rock chapter.
The gang wars in B.C. are not over yet. Now we have to wait, with our teeth clenched, for the possible retali-ation. If the Red Scorpions and the Angels do try to take revenge, it could mean more bullets flying and bodies falling. And every time that happens, it means more chances for innocent bystanders to be hurt or killed.
The police always ask, when investigating such crimes, for people to come forward with information. It's not just to put away a crook who killed another crook. It's to help keep people safe.
Who wants to live in a world where we have to worry about gunfire at the grocery store, the mall or the movies?